The Son Also Rises
The number of people who seem to be supporting Rand Paul ("The Son Also Rises," May) simply because of who his father is, without having any understanding of what policies he supports, is troubling. Rand Paul is not a libertarian. He is a fiscal conservative. He has no problem with the War on Drugs or the regulatory burden—both of which are far more pressing issues then the role of the Fed and the size of the national debt.
L.A.'s Pot Revolution
In the 1930s, Commissioner of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger claimed that smoking one marijuana cigarette could cause insanity and mass murder. In the 74 years since marijuana was outlawed, science has never proved any connection between mental illness and the use of marijuana. Nevertheless, the fact that the leaders of a nearly bankrupt Los Angeles are eager to close more than 500 medical marijuana outlets ("L.A.'s Pot Revolution," May), which deliver millions in sales tax revenue every year, proves that merely thinking about marijuana can cause madness.
It is apparent that cops determined to keep their marijuana income have convinced the Los Angeles City Council to forego millions in revenue while at the same time adding to the budget shortfall with more marijuana enforcement. Law enforcement is looking out for its own financial interests at the expense of the citizenry because the police make a lot of money in overtime and special court pay for doing marijuana busts. That's why we see 50 Los Angeles cops assigned to close one small dispensary. Every one of those cops gets extra cash for every raid.
Dale City, CA
The Rise of Decline
Regarding Tim Cavanaugh's "The Rise of Decline" (May): Right on. A number of my libertarian-minded friends and I believe that "sweet, beautiful failure" is exactly what is needed now—but that general conditions are not yet dire enough to incite the massive backlash that would be necessary. We are still too comfortable. So for the time being we will see sporadic, and possibly increasing, outbreaks of anger and frustration rather than organized opposition to the status quo.
Yale's Bruce Judson has said that "nobody thought the U.S.S.R. could collapse." Will the changes so desperately needed to move our country to a healthy free state come not from occasional eruptions or the gradual actions of organized movements but rather from a sudden, precipitous disintegration?
Los Angeles, CA